Stop discrimination, avoid prejudice
Discriminatio, unfortunately still exists in societies and must be fought in every form
By: JAVAID JAFRI
Discrimination, in its root meaning is not at all wrong as it simply refers to the act of distinguishing one subject from another. However, in modern usage, the term refers to ‘wrongful discrimination or distinguish among people on the basis of prejudice instead of the basis of prejudice of individual merit. In psychology, it is the ability to perceive and respond to differences among stimuli. It is considered a more advanced form of learning than generalization.
Islam is against all forms of racism and bigotry and out rightly rejects such things in its revelations as well as on the basis of reason. Racism is defined as the belief that one ethnicity is superior to another, or one color of skin is superior to another, or the people of one region are superior to another. It is a type of prejudice, to prejudge demographics of people based on their benign and arbitrary physical characteristics. Such repaginate beliefs are the traits of pre-Islamic ignorance (al-jahiliyyah) rather, in Islam we believe all people are born equal in the sight of Allah and the only characteristics that make someone superior to another is righteousness (al-taqwah).
Allah has dignified the children of Adam- all human beings in the world and blessed us all with the provisions such as reason, intelligence and empathy.“Respect and honor all human beings irrespective of their religion color, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, professions and so on”(Al-Isra,17:70).
Gender inequality, a hot issue, is genetically ascribed to religion whereas its causes are purely non-religious. It originates from political, economic, social and cultural factors and as for as Islam is concerned, gender equality is part of its jurisprudence and fundamental teachings. Indeed the various languages, colors and castes of human beings is the sign of Allah’s majesty and a beautiful lesson for us to learn about humility, equality and the Appreciations .
“Mankind! we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into tribes and nations so that you may know each other” (Al-Hujurat, 49:13). Verily when we take a look in our past, discrimination was of only a few types i.e color, creed, religion & sex. Among these gender issue was on its peak as girl children were buried alive in some cases. Such traditions were abolished by Islam and numerous verses of holy Quran and prophetic traditions enjoin gender equality. “O Mankind! Fear your lord who (initiated) your creation from a single soul, then from it creates it’s mate, and from these spread (the creation of) countless men and women” [throughout the earth] ( Al-Nisa, 4:1)
Our modern day societies are rapidly becoming racist and discriminatory in nature and thus turn away from the teachings of Quran as well as our beloved prophet. We see it when we look for a proper match for our daughters, sisters and our brothers and the most important thing that we seek is the whereabouts of the probable partners. But besides many useful inquiries, we also tend to see cast, color and regional whereabouts which is a tragedy for Muslims have been directed to tread all Muslims equal.
There are a number of such things in our society that directly or indirectly amount to discrimination and prejudice. We need to be aware of our rich past and also our religious teachings in order to do away with such practices which are in contrast with our traditions. The divide between rich and poor, villager and city dweller, employee or businessman and a lot more has to be done away with in order to be a much prosperous society.
The writer is a Government employee working in Police Department and can be reached at [email protected]